Skip to main content

quote:
Originally posted by Juicy:
quote:
Originally posted by winetarelli:
American Hustle

(We got the timing for The Hobbit wrong so saw this today instead. Maybe I'll visit Middle Earth tomorrow...)

When this movie was nominated for the Golden Globes in the 'Comedy' section I vaguely grimaced, assuming, like Inside Llewyn Davis it is a drama with a few humorous moments -- but definitely not a comedy -- and the HFPA just wanted to nominate the ten films, actors, and actresses they wanted to nominate. Even before the movie begins, however, in the very first frame, I realized, nope. This could actually be bordering on tongue-in-cheek dramedy, or even "serious comedy". By the end of the movie it is more clear; while not a comedy per se, it also isn't neatly categorizable as anything else.

Whatever the case, it is a lot of fun.

The plot focuses on two (at least somewhat fictitious) con-people in 1978 -- played by Amy Adams and Christian Bale -- and their role in the Abscam scandal (something I was not yet alive for, know nothing about, and that did not seem to matter). Also integral to the cast are Bradly Cooper as an FBI agent and Jennifer Lawrence as Bale's wife. Louis C.K. and Jeremy Renner play smaller supporting roles, more comic and more dramatic, respectively, and both are excellent.

I really really liked this movie. Not quite 'loved', only because it isn't that type of movie. It isn't *meant* to stay with you or make you think about big things. It is meant to be 2 hours and 10 minutes of fun that you can actually feel good about having. And on that it fully delivers. (In fact, it feels shorter than it is and I was almost sad there wasn't more when it ended.)

The writing, direction and editing are very clean with no loose ends but also with every included frame serving a purpose. Direction happens to be excellent and includes just enough quick zooms and cut-aways to keep the pacing just slightly more quick than a typical movie of this caliber. Halfway through I was reminded of a review I read comparing David O. Russel's direction of this to Scorsese. I had forgotten, but all of the sudden pacing and timing images of The Departed came into my consciousness and it wasn't long before my mind made the jump to Scorsese, generally. (Especially Goodfellas and later works.)

The makeup could be just slightly better, perhaps, but the wardrobe is wonderful. It isn't "Oh hey look, it is the 70's let's make fun of what people wore then." It treats the time with certain respect...

Speaking of wardrobe and respect, I think I "respect" Amy Adams more now than I ever have. Wow. WOW. Her acting was wonderful, too. Her acting was very honest and of the four leads, she was playing it most naturally, whereas the other three leads have a certain theatrical flare to their performances (while still remaining fundamentally honest.) Adams was just brilliant, as she always is. Bradley Cooper was excellent but the least of the four. Not necessarily "worse" acting than the other three, but he did not quite command the screen the way the others did. Bale and Lawrence were both dynamite; just out of the park. I never could have imagined Bale in a shlubby role like this, but he is so oddly charming (very oddly) that you can *almost* see why these women like him. Jennifer Lawrence... more so than in any other movie of hers, just owns every scene she is in. She had such screen presence in this movie that even though most of her scenes are with Bale, she is all you can look at on the screen. Also it was fascinating to see her play a somewhat unlikable character and nail it so.

All-in-all I had a great time. It isn't an historically good movie, but it is a phenomenal way to spend a guilt-free "fun" afternoon at the movies. A-


Thoroughly enjoyed this movie. Would agree this is not a comedy yet had a few wonderful comedic moments.

If interested in con artist films, this is a great film. Jennifer Lawrence excels in her scenes. De Niro was amazing. This provided a great escape for me today.

Glad you liked it, Juicy!

I saw Philomena yesterday...

Not worthy of a lengthy review. The acting was good and I really liked Coogan. But where the first 93% of the movie hovered in the "B/B+" range... Intellectually, I understand what happened in the last 7 minutes of the movie; but they didn't sell it -- For a minute I thought this was going to turn out a much better movie than I had anticipated, then, 'cursplat!' Again, intellectually, I get it. But it did not tie in well for me with the rest of the movie and I left the movie theater wanting to stab a nun in the throat. If you are going to chose non-closure and have the main character act the way she does, you have to really sell it, and they didn't. Still the acting was good. C+/B-
Her

In the dramatic irony that is moviemaking, Scarlett Johansson has now starred in both Sofia Coppola's and Spike Jonze's movies presumed to be about their divorce...

The movie is set in the not-too-distant future in Los Angeles. Very very believable version of the future: no apocalypse, no flying cars. Joaquin Phoenix is a not-yet-middle-aged man who spilt from his wife just under a year ago. New operating systems for phones/computers are invented that have genuine personalities, emotions, and infinite learning abilities. Phoenix falls in love with his OS, voiced by Scarlett Johansson. Rooney Mara is the separated wife and Amy Adams is the best friend and neighbor.

I really liked this movie. A positive and negative is that touches on base existential questions, but leaves no answer -- nor gets bogged down in them. At one point Samantha (Johansson) questions if her emotions are real, given that she is just trillions of 1s and 0s. I forget the line, but it is clearly a human question as well about souls. Does Samantha have a soul? Do we? What are the differences? The movie could have gotten bogged down in this but it doesn't, it moves on. So on the one hand, no bog. On the other, a question that might deserve bog. This sort of thing happens several times in the movie. Fidelity, truth, existence, love, and connection are all themes, though none get treated completely. Only capacity to love really gets the full treatment; and on that, I think it is excellent.

Joaquin Phoenix gives a great performance, but Johansson owns the movie. Not physically in one scene, her voice work is not of the likes I've ever witnessed before. I don't know who has done the second best voice work ever in a movie, but I know who has done the best. The hype that she may be nominated for a lead Oscar without ever being on screen is 100% deserved. Beyond deserved.

The movie dragged a bit about 25 minutes before the end; and while the middle seemed elongated, the conclusion and closure seemed compressed.

Overall a very enjoyable movie experience and it is nice to see non-melodramas that are nonetheless about serious things.

B+/A-
quote:
Originally posted by wine+art:
The Silent Partner ( 1978)

In 1986, when I was working in a video store, I discovered this unknown gem. I then used this as my go-to recommendation movie. When a customer was looking for a suggestion I would hand it to them and tell them, "If you don't like it I will give you your money back." No one ever asked for a refund.

A great example of what I call a "Now what's he going to do now?" film.
quote:
Originally posted by The Old Man:
quote:
Originally posted by wine+art:
The Silent Partner ( 1978)

In 1986, when I was working in a video store, I discovered this unknown gem. I then used this as my go-to recommendation movie. When a customer was looking for a suggestion I would hand it to them and tell them, "If you don't like it I will give you your money back." No one ever asked for a refund.

A great example of what I call a "Now what's he going to do now?" film.


I did fall in love with Celine Lomez watching this movie for the first time in college.

I also had a 155 gallon aquarium in college which caused me a moment of pause watching this excellent film. Big Grin
quote:
Originally posted by wine+art:
quote:
Originally posted by The Old Man:
quote:
Originally posted by wine+art:
The Silent Partner ( 1978)

In 1986, when I was working in a video store, I discovered this unknown gem. I then used this as my go-to recommendation movie. When a customer was looking for a suggestion I would hand it to them and tell them, "If you don't like it I will give you your money back." No one ever asked for a refund.

A great example of what I call a "Now what's he going to do now?" film.


I did fall in love with Celine Lomez watching this movie for the first time in college.

I also had a 155 gallon aquarium in college which caused me a moment of pause watching this excellent film. Big Grin


I was in Toronto when the film was made and wondered, no doubt along with everyone else there at the time - why the Eaton Centre was decorated for Christmas in the middle of summer. No filming while I was there and the mystery remained unsolved until the film came out. I remember being pleased that a Canadian film actually admitted it was set in Canada!
quote:
Originally posted by wine+art:
quote:
Originally posted by bman:

I remember being pleased that a Canadian film actually admitted it was set in Canada!


I do not think it has happened since. Wink


Almost true! There was one maybe 10 years ago set in Montreal with Edward Norton and either Gene Hackman or Paul Newman, amongst others. Wish I could remember the name as I really enjoyed it, especially the plot twist towards the end.
quote:
Originally posted by bman:
quote:
Originally posted by wine+art:
quote:
Originally posted by bman:

I remember being pleased that a Canadian film actually admitted it was set in Canada!


I do not think it has happened since. Wink


Almost true! There was one maybe 10 years ago set in Montreal with Edward Norton and either Gene Hackman or Paul Newman, amongst others. Wish I could remember the name as I really enjoyed it, especially the plot twist towards the end.

The Score (2001). DeNiro and Brando are in it. No Hackman or Newman.
quote:
Originally posted by winetarelli:
quote:
Originally posted by bman:
quote:
Originally posted by wine+art:
quote:
Originally posted by bman:

I remember being pleased that a Canadian film actually admitted it was set in Canada!


I do not think it has happened since. Wink


Almost true! There was one maybe 10 years ago set in Montreal with Edward Norton and either Gene Hackman or Paul Newman, amongst others. Wish I could remember the name as I really enjoyed it, especially the plot twist towards the end.

The Score (2001). DeNiro and Brando are in it. No Hackman or Newman.


Right! I was confusing my iconic American actors....
quote:
Originally posted by wine+art:
Our local film critic just released his 5 flops/worse movies of the year. I think I had only heard of one, maybe two.

Admission
Gangster Squad
Girls Most Likely
The Internship
Oz

The American film industry really has lost its way, IMO.

Hmmm... I'm not certain I completely agree with you; but regardless, you do realize emphasizing the 5 worst movies of any year is not necessarily the right way to judge, no? Wink
quote:
Originally posted by winetarelli:
quote:
Originally posted by Wine Sparty:
The Little Mermaid - Santa brought it for my 3 year old daughter, and I watched it with her. I had never seen it before...and have now seen it twice in one day!

You had never seen it?!

Absolute magic. My unapologetic favorite Disney movie -- and one of my favorite movies of all time, period.

quote:
Under the sea...
quote:
Originally posted by The Old Man:

A Marriage: Georgia O'Keeffe and Alfred Stieglitz, but I cannot find it anywhere.


Stieglitz was on his very best day a complete cad or worse, yet one of the seminal people of the 20th century art world without debate.

His 291 was the beginning of America and NYC specifically becoming the art center of the world that it is today.

I never heard of this movie.
quote:
Originally posted by The Old Man:
quote:
Originally posted by wine+art:
Ed Wood

Just the mention and I can hear the great opening credit music. I love this movie, it has so much heart. Easily Tim Burton's finest film.


Not so sure I can use the word "easily" in that sentence. I love most of Burton's work including both Batman movies, the animated genius of The Nightmare Before Christmas, Big Fish and Beetlejuice.
quote:
Originally posted by steve8:
quote:
Originally posted by The Old Man:
quote:
Originally posted by wine+art:
Ed Wood

Just the mention and I can hear the great opening credit music. I love this movie, it has so much heart. Easily Tim Burton's finest film.


Not so sure I can use the word "easily" in that sentence. I love most of Burton's work including both Batman movies, the animated genius of The Nightmare Before Christmas, Big Fish and Beetlejuice.

I love Beetlejuice, I can take or leave most of his other work, but none of it can touch Ed Wood.

Oh yeah, I've never met a superhero movie that I could call great. I've given up watching anymore of them about 5-6 years ago.
quote:
Originally posted by wine+art:
The Sweet Hereafter

Exotica

Egoyan's two finest movies. Both deserve a higher audience. Though most don't know Exotica, The Sweet Hereafter Egoyan was nominated for an Academy Award for best director and screenplay. Of course it was too good to win this stupid award. Ian Holm's performance is also a revelation.

Egoyan is the master of the hidden truth film; there are clues, but like a Sherlock Holmes' mystery there are things the characters know that we don't. When revealed they often have crushing implications. His most recent mainstream movie was Chloe with Liam Neeson and Julianne Moore. An epic fail of a movie, but worth the price of admission to see Amanda Seyfried's glorious naked body.

Worth checking out are his earlier works such as the 40 minute Calendar (kind of a variation on Blow Up) and the semi-surreal The Adjuster.

His strangest work is the TV mini-series Yo-yo Ma Inspired by Bach. I believe I saw some of this on TV and pretty much turned it off early.
quote:
Originally posted by The Old Man:
quote:
Originally posted by steve8:
quote:
Originally posted by The Old Man:
quote:
Originally posted by wine+art:
Ed Wood

Just the mention and I can hear the great opening credit music. I love this movie, it has so much heart. Easily Tim Burton's finest film.


Not so sure I can use the word "easily" in that sentence. I love most of Burton's work including both Batman movies, the animated genius of The Nightmare Before Christmas, Big Fish and Beetlejuice.

I love Beetlejuice, I can take or leave most of his other work, but none of it can touch Ed Wood.

Oh yeah, I've never met a superhero movie that I could call great. I've given up watching anymore of them about 5-6 years ago.


Don't forget Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - I get to see it weekly . It is well done for what it is.
quote:
Originally posted by mneeley490:
Man of Steel
Wow, what a downer. I wish they had spent some of that FX money for a good script.


+1000

A visual and aural assault. Sitting in front of a strobe light listening to Yoko Ono for 2 hours would have been more entertaining. Man of Steel was my superhero movie "final straw". I'm done.
quote:
Originally posted by The Old Man:
quote:
Originally posted by wine+art:
Ed Wood

Just the mention and I can hear the great opening credit music. I love this movie, it has so much heart. Easily Tim Burton's finest film.


Loved Ed Wood , but I'd place Edward Scissorhands at the top of that list.

I can't think of a Burton film in the last 10+ years that hasn't been a disappointment on some level.
quote:
Originally posted by sunnylea57:
quote:
Originally posted by The Old Man:
quote:
Originally posted by wine+art:
Ed Wood

Just the mention and I can hear the great opening credit music. I love this movie, it has so much heart. Easily Tim Burton's finest film.


Loved Ed Wood , but I'd place Edward Scissorhands at the top of that list.

Too much of what I call a 3M movie: mawkish, maudlin and morose.
quote:
Originally posted by The Old Man:
quote:
Originally posted by wine+art:
The Sweet Hereafter

Exotica

Egoyan's two finest movies. Both deserve a higher audience. Though most don't know Exotica, The Sweet Hereafter Egoyan was nominated for an Academy Award for best director and screenplay. Of course it was too good to win this stupid award. Ian Holm's performance is also a revelation.

Egoyan is the master of the hidden truth film; there are clues, but like a Sherlock Holmes' mystery there are things the characters know that we don't. When revealed they often have crushing implications. His most recent mainstream movie was Chloe with Liam Neeson and Julianne Moore. An epic fail of a movie, but worth the price of admission to see Amanda Seyfried's glorious naked body.

Worth checking out are his earlier works such as the 40 minute Calendar (kind of a variation on Blow Up) and the semi-surreal The Adjuster.

His strangest work is the TV mini-series Yo-yo Ma Inspired by Bach. I believe I saw some of this on TV and pretty much turned it off early.

I've loved Egoyan since I was 15 and rented Exotica from the video store thinking it would be one type of good movie only to find it one of the best movies (in all respects) I saw that year. Agreed Chloe is not up to par. Also agreed about Seyfried Wink
Regarding Tim Burton, my favorite of his movies is actually Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. But I also love good musicals.

Ed Wood and Edward Scissorhands are my other two favorites.

I've always had a little thing for Mars Attacks!... but Natalie Portman and I are the same age and that is the movie that my longest-running celebrity crush all started for me Wink -- so that could have something to do with it. A few of his other movies are fine or even good, but just nothing special, imo.
quote:
Originally posted by wine+art:
quote:
Originally posted by steve8:


including both Batman movies,


You just lost all credibility. Razz Wink


I figured I'd get some stick from the resident cinephiles, but I think he did a great job creating a really dark atmosphere in this films, especially Batman Returns. For me, these two blow away any other superhero movies for what that's worth.
quote:
Originally posted by Rob_Sutherland:
Il Postino.

Heart wrenching as always. My wife had never seen it and when I told her Troisi knew he had a heart condition that he wouldn't check so he could finish the movie and died the day after filming stopped she cried herself to sleep.


Well, that story knocks you out of the Husband of the Year running! Wink Devilish
quote:
Originally posted by bman:
quote:
Originally posted by Rob_Sutherland:
Il Postino.

Heart wrenching as always. My wife had never seen it and when I told her Troisi knew he had a heart condition that he wouldn't check so he could finish the movie and died the day after filming stopped she cried herself to sleep.


Well, that story knocks you out of the Husband of the Year running! Wink Devilish


Clean slate tomorrow! Of course then I leave for Prague the next day without her so I'm instantly in the red...
American Hustle. Entertaining, but I really can't see why this is getting much hype. I found it trying to hard at times and it seemed to rip off the Goodfellas style too much. I wish it had been about 30 minutes shorter, too. I found Bradley Cooper's performance to be the best, but also would give Amy Adams some high praise.

Maybe my bar was raised a bit too high by seeing 12 Years A Slave yesterday.
quote:
Originally posted by spo:
quote:
Originally posted by eyesintime:
Star Trek: Into Darkness

Third sequel I've watched in about the last week and none were very good -- Red 2 and Iron Man Three being the others. This one was not as bad as Iron Man Three, but still pretty bad.


Anchorman 2 would be another sequel to avoid.
And Anchorman would be a good original to avoid.
Last edited by The Old Man
quote:
Originally posted by winetarelli:
Inside Llewyn Davis

A disappointment. Very well acted, photographed, produced and directed. And the music was fun and evocative, if not good. But the story was not engaging.

IMO, this is one of the less compelling of the Coen brothers' movies. Still, it is do well done that I have to respect it. B

Well put. As much as I always expect something a little different from the Coens, this was a non-story that lacked a discernible reason to be told. The lead character gave me a nagging feeling of deja vu until it struck me as the male equivalent of Laura Dern's character from the annoying HBO series Enlightened. Still, as winetarelli points out, ILD does contain select moments of music and cinematography that are beautifully crafted.
quote:
Originally posted by wineismylife:
Really? I enjoyed it.


I'm assuming this is in response to Star Trek: Into Darkness. I liked the first one, but I think probably more for providing the "back story" to the original series and seeing younger versions of the characters. Watching this one, it was just more of the same for me and the charm/appeal had worn off.
Life of Pi

Not sure what all the hubbub was about this movie. Yes, it was visually stimulating at times and even more so on a big screen I'm sure, but I'm just over the computer generated thing for the most part. I haven't read the book, but I'm guessing I would have liked that more than the movie. Overall the movie was OK and I did think the actor that played the stranded Pi did a very good job. Under the old format for Academy Awards when only 5 films were nominated, this wouldn't have made the cut for me.
quote:
Originally posted by The Old Man:
quote:
Originally posted by wine+art:
quote:
Originally posted by The Old Man:
quote:
Originally posted by wine+art:
The German Doctor

Wow.


Old Man, ???

I just don't know how you find these things. It sounds like a very intense film. Worth seeing?


Ah, I see said the blind man. Smile

I thought it was very good, but not great or epic. I enjoyed XXY and this is from the same director.
quote:
Originally posted by winetarelli:
Fierce Creatures.

For the 8th or so time. Under appreciated comedy partially due to the even better comedy the same folks made in the 80s, but still very enjoyable and funny.

Really dislike A Fish Called Wanda, but I see the director of this movie, Fred Schepisi, did make one good movie, Six Degrees of Separation.
We finally saw a new film in a theater: American Hustle. I liked the film (although the first 15-20 minutes of handheld close-ups started to make me dizzy) and while it is "loosely" based on an actual series of events, it is not a story of the real events themselves and takes major liberties with the story line and characters. The film did remind me of another film though, Closer. The reason: both star a quartet of big name actors and actresses and in both films, the younger actresses, Jennifer Lawrence and Natalie Portman, are clearly out of their league and out classed by the superior acting and or acting experience of their co-stars. I actually like both of them, but in this type of ensemble acting, their performances came off as false and forced. Otherwise, it is a well executed film and enjoyable entertainment.
quote:
Originally posted by tanglenet:
We finally saw a new film in a theater: American Hustle. I liked the film (although the first 15-20 minutes of handheld close-ups started to make me dizzy) and while it is "loosely" based on an actual series of events, it is not a story of the real events themselves and takes major liberties with the story line and characters. The film did remind me of another film though, Closer. The reason: both star a quartet of big name actors and actresses and in both films, the younger actresses, Jennifer Lawrence and Natalie Portman, are clearly out of their league and out classed by the superior acting and or acting experience of their co-stars. I actually like both of them, but in this type of ensemble acting, their performances came off as false and forced. Otherwise, it is a well executed film and enjoyable entertainment.

WOW. I thought Natalie stole Closer. I thought Jennifer was mesmerizing in American Hustle -- hard to look anywhere else when she was on the screen. I thought Christian Bale and Amy Adams were just as good, though. If not better. Personally, I found Jude Law and Bradley Cooper -- both incredible actors in their own rights -- to be the weak links of the two respective movies.
quote:
Originally posted by winetarelli:
Personally, I found Jude Law and Bradley Cooper -- both incredible actors in their own rights -- to be the weak links of the two respective movies.

I guess this is why we are all different, but I don't get the comment about Bradley Cooper. I found him to rise above everyone else. I liked Jennifer Lawrence, but it might just be because I REALLY LIKE Jennifer Lawrence...if you know what I mean.
The Wolf of Wall Street

2 hours, 5 minutes of wonderfullness, then another 45 minutes dragged out too much. The movie is the funniest I've seen Scorsese do and as DiCaprio's character is rising and at the top the movie is wonderful, energetic, fast paced, and debaucherous in the best ways. But as his character falls from grace the movie cannot keep up its frenetic energy. All of the performances, from Joanna Lumley to Rob Reiner to Jean Dujardin to Margot Robbie are excellent. Jonah Hill is wonderful if a little too theatrical at times. DiCaprio is brilliant -- one of his best performances. A lot of fun and the debauchery is great to feel almost a part of. At the end though, because it just sort of peeters out, because it is based upon a true story, there isn't the grand finale that the rest of the movie (if it were totally fiction) would seem building towards. Strong A- for the first 3/4s, B for the last 1/4. Overall: B+/A-
Queen of Versailles - best documentary I have seen in a long time.

story about Westgate family - who slimly (if a word) make tons upon tons of cash sell time shares in Florida and Vegas. When the stock market crashes, their house of cards, which is built upon mortgage backed securities, comes tumbling down.

How the wife (former beauty queen) and husband (rich old prick) respond could absolutely be a perfect spoof on the absurdly rich, but was their actual real-life response to "cutting back."


http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2125666/
quote:
Originally posted by eyesintime:
quote:
Originally posted by ThistlinTom:
The Place Beyond the Pines


What did you think? I noticed that this was moving its way up my Netflix queue.


In general I liked it, the acting was good. It felt like a movie made from a long book that didn't allow further exploration of themes running through the book. (I don't believe it was adapted from a book though). I'd say it was worth watching.
quote:
Originally posted by PurpleHaze:
Saw Frozen with a couple of the grandkids yesterday. Classic Disney stuff. Pretty good, actually. The kids loved it.

PH

Funny you say that. I think that the new style of animation, and even the stories, are very untypical what I think of as "classic Disney." But perhaps it says the world has changed.
quote:
Originally posted by The Old Man:
quote:
Originally posted by PurpleHaze:
Saw Frozen with a couple of the grandkids yesterday. Classic Disney stuff. Pretty good, actually. The kids loved it.

PH

Funny you say that. I think that the new style of animation, and even the stories, are very untypical what I think of as "classic Disney." But perhaps it says the world has changed.


I think Tangled was the last classic Disney. Fairly recent, too (2010?). Throwback though.
quote:
Originally posted by The Old Man:
quote:
Originally posted by PurpleHaze:
Saw Frozen with a couple of the grandkids yesterday. Classic Disney stuff. Pretty good, actually. The kids loved it.

PH

Funny you say that. I think that the new style of animation, and even the stories, are very untypical what I think of as "classic Disney." But perhaps it says the world has changed.


I totally agree with you on the animation. I was referring more to the story and music, I guess. I liked the animation in this movie, however.

PH
quote:
Originally posted by KSC02:
quote:
Originally posted by The Old Man:
quote:
Originally posted by KSC02:
Been watching Season 1 of Suits.
Pretty good entertainment, IMO

Wrong category. Thanks for playing, we have some lovely parting gifts for you however. Razz

I'm far from the first to post a TV Series Devilish

And they were kicked off the thread too! Wink